Durham’s Delicious Date Destinations: Part One – Palatinate


By Derek Wong

Finally, the exams are over. The sun is shining and the racecourse is packed with people. The streets are filled to the brim in the evening. You meet someone who happens to be a “friend of a friend”. Or maybe it’s someone on Tinder or Hinge. Maybe it’s someone you’ve already gone on a date with. You talk and suddenly you have to know where to take them.

I would like to remind you to think about the food that will be eaten. You don’t want messy or messy foods in case your date is put off by your eating habits. Additionally, you will need to determine if you have ever had a date with this person. Maybe for the first date, go for a coffee, and for the following dates, these places are the ideal places. However, if you know your date really wants to head straight for a romantic meal, go for it. Below, I’ve got my top three picks for you to book your date, plus a wildcard option for those riskier ones!

View of the river

My first choice for a date in Durham. It’s next to the river, has good food and coffee, and it’s affordable. Perhaps the only downside to this place would be the number of people you might encounter while queuing on a Saturday afternoon. However, the sandwiches are tasty and neat and there is a nice variety of meals, for the more adventurous and confident. Alternatively, for those of you with a sweet tooth, pancakes make the perfect treat to go with your date.

Riverview’s most attractive attribute is its location. After your appointment, you can take a slow stroll with your loved one along the river and take in the natural landscape of Durham. Maybe walk to the cathedral and move your date to Hogwarts. Or follow the river all the way down and sit by the river near the racecourse to soak up the sun. You can even rent one of these boats on the river and show off your athletic abilities. The possibilities are limitless.

Pancakes provide the perfect treat to accompany your date


Ah Spags, the Rolls-Royce of dates. When you think of a typical date in Durham, Spags is probably the first place that comes to mind. This quaint dining experience provides the perfect romantic and fun atmosphere. The additional use of the candle and the different desserts offered perfectly accompany the conversation that will take place between the two of you. However, as Spags is renowned for its pasta dishes and two-litre bottle of wine, sometimes it can be best to just enjoy the moment and binge.

After sharing your two-litre bottle of wine (yes, the majority of you will probably get that), you might want to head over to the Library Bar. Overlooking the scenic SU scenes (just kidding) and the countryside behind, the terrace is a perfect way to get some privacy and really connect with your date. Although Spags has its downsides, like long wait times due to a no-books policy, the Spags-Library Bar combination is probably so popular for this reason: you’re guaranteed a solid night if the date goes wrong.


One for the more adventurous, this restaurant located near Elvet Crescent has a chic and modern feel. The dim sum and rice dishes are tasty and visually pleasing. The outdoor terrace offers an intimate and cozy atmosphere. Above all, Zen’s location provides a slightly more secluded spot where you and your sweetheart can (finally) enjoy some peace and quiet. None of your friends accidentally bump into you anymore. No more awkward conversations with people you know on the street. What more could you ask for?

Perhaps Zen is disadvantaged by being a little further from the center, but at the very least this is compensated by the privacy you are more likely to enjoy. Besides, it’s Durham – walking from one side to the other would only take 20 minutes at most.

Spoon tapas

Remember, if someone is enjoying a tapas session of Spoon and wants to come back for a next date, they’re either a keeper or they’re running as fast as you can.

Image credit: Pexels (via Pixabay)


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